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Floral Delight

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S: Until We Meet Again

BC: Best Wishes

FC: Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude

1: Our take on Custom Publishing! With love, from your friends at Ascend | Barbara, We thank you for all that you have done for each of us during our years together at Ascend. You have been our mentor, our role model, our leader, our adviser, our rock, our shield, and most of all our friend. We wish you well and we are happy for you and your family! All our best!

2: Great effort from great motives is the best definition of a happy life. William Ellery Channing | Next Steps Congratulations to you in the new steps you are taking in your life’s journey. May you live life to the fullest with happiness and good health. Best wishes to you and George. Cam Bishop

3: When what you are deeply passionate about, what you can be best in the world at and what drives your economic engine come together, not only does your work move toward greatness, but so does your life. For, in the end, it is impossible to have a great life unless it is a meaningful life. And it is very difficult to have a meaningful life without meaningful work. Perhaps, then, you might gain that rare tranquility that comes from knowing that you’ve had a hand in creating something of intrinsic excellence that makes a contribution. Indeed, you might even gain that deepest of all satisfactions: knowing that your short time here on this earth has been well spent, and that it mattered. Jim Collins

4: May you always have work for your hands to do. May your pockets hold always a coin or two. May the sun shine bright on your windowpane. May the rainbow be certain to follow each rain. May the hand of a friend always be near you. And may God fill your heart with gladness to cheer you. | h:<> | Irish Spirit It has been a pleasure working with you, and these last few years working directly with you one-on-one has been the best. I’m so glad that we developed both a personal and professional relationship, and I will always cherish it. Thank you for your ongoing support and guidance through all of the ups and downs of this crazy business and for your calming manner, no matter what the crisis du jour! I wish you all the best in the days ahead. I will miss our ongoing conversations and brainstorming! Here’s to you my sweet Irish friend. When you’re in need, I’ll always be here to “keep your hair from catching fire.” Please stay in touch!! Kate Hegarty

5: Picture of Grace I feel as though our paths were destined to cross. All those years ago, we both worked at Primedia, yet never worked together. Imagine! Then flash forward to almost four years ago, and I interviewed with you for this role at Ascend. I have only one regret with this: I didn’t have the opportunity to work with you and get to know you all those years earlier. In these last few years, I have counted myself so blessed to work alongside of you on so many endeavors. You taught me so many things that I can’t even begin to enumerate. Yet, I will take each of those forward into the remainder of my career. But more importantly, I have been blessed with your personal light and spirit. Seriously, Barbara, your energy and spirit permeate so much and bring a special color to my life. Your positivity through tough times as well as the good times radiates and quite simply is contagious. I most admire your grace. People talk often of “grace,” but I believe few people truly possess it. That quality that emanates from a truly peaceful soul. Those with true grace somehow transcend the trappings of everyday turmoil and trifles and lead with their light. When I think of you, I think of that grace and that light. Shine on, my friend. And I look forward to the next time I can stand in your light. Rhonda Wickham

6: Family First I wish you the best on your upcoming marriage. It is a very exciting time I am sure. I also have a lot of respect for your decision to put your family first in your life. Not many people actually do that to the extent you are. It says a lot about who you are and what is ultimately most important to you. Good luck and best wishes for the future. Scott Harold

7: Next Page Best wishes for your next chapter. Michael Lehr | Dedication Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials and your next journey in life. During your years with Ascend, I really admired your dedication to making this company a success, keeping integrity to the Ascend name and making sure that we all worked as a team. I hope you leave here knowing you left a positive impact on everything you were involved in and everyone you worked with. I wish you many fun-filled, relaxing and stress-free days ahead! Angie Ciafullo

8: A writer should write with his eyes and a painter paint with his ears. Gertrude Stein

9: A Great Woman The last few weeks during interviews, every candidate has asked me why I like working at Ascend. Naturally, the immediate answer is, “Because of the people I get to work with.” Beyond that though, this company has afforded me the opportunity to learn from some of the greatest women in business. You personally have served as a true example for me in shaping my career. You inspire a team by celebrating the smallest and biggest accomplishments. Your words encourage and calm in the toughest situation. You give genuine gratitude for personal sacrifices made to better the team. You take time to know each individual. And most importantly to me, you value family. I will be eternally gratefully to you for reaching out to me during and after Dad’s battle with cancer. Doing so allowed me the opportunity to really be with him and my family during his final days without worrying about what was waiting for me back here. Even your choice now, to focus more time with your family, is one to respect and celebrate. Enjoy this time and if you make it on one of those WE or Oxygen wedding shows, let me know! :) Your new adventure awaits. Cheers! Erin Garrett

10: Working Dinners There were many nights that I worked late, along with others on the directories and dailies teams. When in town, Barbara often would stop by to chat, offering us words of encouragement, or providing snacks or dinner in the form of pizza. It was always a nice thought, and I appreciated it so much. But my favorite “Barbara moment” was when Erin Garrett, Barbara and I all went to Gordon Biersch for a “working dinner.” We were brainstorming blog topic ideas that I could offer the new writers, in case they didn’t have a clue what to write about. Most of the time was spent talking — I learned more about Barbara, more about the company in general and learned about exciting new projects coming down the pipeline. I discussed my new love: roller derby. We were successful in our brainstorming, and I had pages full of ideas to offer to the company bloggers. Anyway, I just wanted to wish you well on all your new adventures to come. I’ll miss seeing you around the office, but am so glad I got to know you throughout these years! Ashley Puderbaugh

11: Idea Champion I don’t have one specific story but there were many times when you stopped by my desk just to check in and offer a smile and a few words of encouragement. I always appreciated it but even a little more so when I was working late and you’d stop by, just to see how I was doing. You’d almost always thank me for my efforts and tell me to “hang in there.” One time when I was working after hours, you told me you thought I could use a you went and got one for me! It’s the little things that really meant a lot. Also, you were so encouraging when I submitted my idea to create a heart-patient caregiver’s notebook based on my own experience with my mom after her heart surgery. I knew I had a champion in my corner that would “go to bat” for my idea. I appreciate all your hard work in trying to get that project off the ground. Overall, I’m going to miss your professionalism, optimism and compassion around the office. And I only wish you the best in the future. When you find yourself back in OP, be sure to stop by and say hi. Janine Taylor

12: Balance | Wow! So many years and so many good memories. It has been great to have known you since the Electronic Sourcebook days and then to have been reunited at Ascend. Thank you in particular for your guidance, insights and help these past few years as I grew into my new job at Ascend. You taught me a lot about this exciting and constantly evolving world of custom publishing, and the importance of balance in one’s life. Someday, I’ll have to for sure visit you in your beautiful part of the country, and I’m hoping our paths will continue to cross for many years to come. Until then, I wish you only the very best in everything you do. Eric Jacobson

13: Positive Vibe | Our first communications were by email. You were trying to schedule a company-wide meeting when you first came to the company. Your email set a time for the meeting, which was on a date when we would have had several people on the road at two shows. I had never met you, but I felt I had to let you know that it was not a great time for the meeting, so I responded to explain the situation. We proceeded to exchange a couple of emails in which you suggested other times, and I shot them down. I sat there thinking, “This is not a good way to start off with the new boss,” but you called and we had a positive, friendly talk. The result was that I sent you a list of travel dates, and I was struck by how incredibly respectful and eager you were to learn more about how we operated. Since then, I have always walked away from our meetings and conversations with that same feeling no matter the situation. No matter how busy or stressed you may be, you are always positive and respectful. For example, earlier this year, we had a meeting highlighted by my hacking and coughing. The next morning, you brought me a cup of orange juice and a pastry, and told me to try to get some rest. That pretty much sums up the type of person you are — the way you present a positive vibe. As you start your new life, I will miss that positive vibe. I also hope you and George continue to enjoy this new chapter in your lives. Greg Sackuvich

14: Friend and Mentor Barbara, you are beautiful person, inside and out. Our company is better because of your warmth, intelligence, grace and perceptiveness. Thank you for everything you did for us — and for me personally. I will always consider you a friend and mentor who not only brought me to another level in my career, but changed the way I look at life forever. Maria Arnone

15: Inspiration | Barbara, Where do I start? I don’t want to get emotional (Lord knows I’ve cried to you way too many times. ;) You will always be my mentor, my inspiration. You have encouraged me, supported me and challenged me to think in ways I never could have on my own. I can’t thank you enough for your leadership and your friendship. “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”...and YOU are a leader, Barb! I am so thankful for that fateful day almost 14 years ago when Rich Hathaway told me to call you! I was in Kansas City, moving to California and he thought the two of us should meet. How lucky I am that he did. I remember meeting you for the first time — you, as always, were striking, smart and funny and your passion for your work was contagious! I knew I had to learn from you. You continue to inspire everyone that works with you to think differently, strive for the best and always, always, always, work with integrity. You are a visionary, and we are all better because of you. You live by the words that your character is defined by how you act when no one is watching — I strive to live that way as well — you have taught me well. You will be missed more than you know! Tricia Walsh

16: Friend and Mentor | It is an honor to know you and call you a friend! You have been such a great mentor to me. I have many great memories of you – starting from your first meeting with Ascend – you all dressed up “BK” professional style for the parking lot picnic which turned out to be a 100 degree plus day; which we were all in shorts - welcome to KC! I remember seeing you with one of our clients -- each of you in the hotel white fluffy robes walking through the hotel lobby -- we were so surprised! I remember walking the show floor with you at conventions, so happy introducing you to advertisers I’ve worked with over the years. I always learned something from you, always picked up new ideas and loved spending time with you. All the “Barbara-isms” around the office. Everyone -- and I mean all of us -- started picking up on your language. We could recognize it in others we had worked with for years and we did it ourselves. We all felt more professional -- and you were raising the bar! I will always remember your kindness to me and my family during my sister’s illness in the hospital. Your kindness meant the world to me. I still carry around the St Francis de Sales prayer with me and have pass along to others. You had just the right thing to say in every situation. I was so impressed with your toast at client dinners and celebrations. They were always so touching and perfect for the celebration. You have been such a gift to me! Maureen Mauer

17: Oh, Barbara Kay! Who is going to tell us we “sparkle” now that we will not be working with you? Funny but true, Maureen and I can always tell when one of us has spoken with the “great motivator,” aka Barbara Kay! Suddenly everything is sunny and bright and happy in our medical sales world! A few memories. - the parking lot party on your first day! - the “low cube wall” discussion that resulted in you saying to me: “What is said in this office stays in this office!” - Chico’s shopping adventure - the Necklace from hell! - your “handicapped” hotel room assignments over and over again. - “I have a bunch of men back at the hotel who will love these!” remark at dinner with Michelle Turenne - the blow dryer you cannot travel without! - the “that’s our fiancé” story, my favorite! - LeCirque Hotel in New Orleans - ducks at the Peabody - the Vaseline trick you taught me for my always suffering feet - your beautiful toasts at client dinners I will miss you terribly. You have been a wonderful mentor and friend. Your humble nature makes it difficult for you to accept how invaluable you have become in the lives of those lucky enough to know you. I have learned so much from you on a professional and a personal level, and I will hear your words in my head when I am struggling! You deserve every happiness, and I so hope I can remain part of your life to see you experience this next chapter! You take care, sweet friend! With much respect and adoration, Cathleen Gorby | Sparkle

18: Milestone | Congratulations to you on this next milestone in your life! However, Ascend will not be the same without you. Please know, I always appreciated your kind and supporting notes that you sent frequently to me. I will certainly miss seeing you on a regular basis, and we will keep in touch. Have a wonderful summer planning your special day! My best to you always. Dee Busby

19: Presence and Insights | Barbara, I am excited for you and this next chapter of your life. It must be very rewarding to serve an organization so well that you can now take a step back and spend time on other pursuits. We will very much miss your presence, insights and leadership here at Ascend, but know that you have set us up for success. Rebecca Harp

20: Positivity | Barbara, Not only was working with you a pleasure, but it was also an honor. In the last couple years, I was able to work with you more directly and I learned so much. You are always so positive and upbeat, and you always knew how to bring out the best in someone. I am so happy you are able to shift gears and put more focus on your family and personal life. I truly hope the best for you in the future! Amanda Marriott

21: Strong | Personable | You have been a wonderful person to work for. You have been a strong leader with a personable side that is rarely seen in the business world today. Your wisdom and calm demeanor helped us all get through some very trying times. Your words of encouragement have always been appreciated. I will miss hearing, “Brennah, your level of focus is really noticeable and appreciated, and it will pay off.” Your words have kept me going in the right direction, even when nothing seemed to be moving. I really enjoyed the lunch date we had, and our talk about work/life balance. I am happy to see that you are following through with your desire to spend more time with your family and friends. Best wishes, Barbara. You will be missed. Brennah Tate

22: Bourbon Street at its Best! My absolute favorite story about Barbara involved a trip we made together for a client’s annual meeting in New Orleans. Now Barbara, in her years of travel, had never been to New Orleans. She was looking forward to the trip and seeing the city, which we all know is pretty different from most. I acted as her tour guide as I’d been to the city numerous times attending conventions and conferences. Our visit started off in an interesting fashion, even for me. The client had a bus that took us and a number of key exhibitors and vendors outside the city to an old plantation for sightseeing and dinner. I hadn’t been outside the city before so this was a great look at what the Old South looked like back in the day. We met a couple of folks at our dinner table, and we all decided to visit the French Quarter later that night. I’d say that the French Quarter may sound like a somewhat glamorous setting, it isn’t quite that, especially around midnight on a Friday night. We hit the French Quarter about two blocks from Bourbon Street. Barbara is dressed great, as always. We’d had some wine at the plantation but nothing on that 1 hour bus ride back to the city so I was thirsty and assumed Barbara was as well. "Barbara, would you like a drink," I asked. "Sure," she said. She thinks we’re going to walk into a bar or restaurant and sit down and order but I step up to what is a hole in the wall and get two hurricanes to begin our stroll through the Quarter. I look back at Barbara and she has some kind of look on her face. 1) She can’t believe where we’re getting our drinks. 2) The guy serving the Hurricanes didn’t look like he just got out of prison; he looked worse! 3) We’re going to walk around and drink! That look on her face was priceless, and we hadn’t yet hit Bourbon Street! When we turned the corner onto Bourbon Street, it didn’t disappoint on a weekend night. The honky tonks, the strip joints, the drunks, the characters. I think Barbara thought she just stepped into Dante’s Inferno! Between watching her face and watching her step over and around what was left on the street made for one unforgettable evening. I was glad I was there for Barbara’s first trip to New Orleans! Tim Nass

23: I have really enjoyed work for you. You have an infectious way of sharing your strength and optimism. I have benefited both financially and spiritually from knowing you. Please enjoy this new phase of your life and thank you for agreeing to remain active in ours. Best wishes. Marybeth Robeson | Positive Attitude | Dear Barbara - You are one incredible woman whom I admire in so many ways. You are undeniably professional, classy, strong, articulate, kind, sincere, patient, polished, independent and the list could go on and on. Working with you was a blessing and privilege to me as a young professional and working woman. You inspired me to always examine what we could do differently and better even when we had done well. Even now, while I'm on a break from the corporate world, I think of you often and consider how you would handle a particular situation or communicate in a challenging situation. You have a gift for finding the right words at just the right time. Thank you for the lessons you taught me and so many others. I am forever grateful for your company during long client dinners when we learned things we would rather have not learned. I'll never forget the exciting adventures we had with the book venture, late night playbook meetings and, of course, your heroism in rescuing me from the elevator door. Thank you for being a wonderful, beautiful person in every way. Blessings to you always, Abby Biggers

24: Leading by Example | Thank you for the leadership you have provided to our team for so many years. I came to Ascend from the very relaxed slow environment of a monthly magazine. From my first days here, I knew the pace was going to be hectic, fast, harried and stressful. But in all my years here — through late deadlines, missed deadlines, rescheduled deadlines that were missed again — I have never seen you lose your cool. Your calm, patient and “what do we need to do to get it done” attitude is infectious, and I have always appreciated it a great deal. I still remember traveling to Dallas with you for an AHA meeting once and having quite an experience with the shuttle between the hotel and AHA’s headquarters. You very responsibly signed us up for seats on the shuttle, and then we waited patiently for the shuttle to arrive. When it did, all kinds of people rushed the van — so it looked like we wouldn’t get on. Alone, I’d probably have sunk down on a bench and waited for the next one, but you were determined that we would get our rightful seats in that van. And we did — though I think you only really had half a seat, holding on to the inside of the door for dear life when the van rounded corners and almost tipped you off your seat. I also always laugh when I am in a hotel and get assigned a room for the disabled. I now just call that the “curse of Barbara.” Seriously, I am glad to have the opportunity to thank you for everything I have learned through your example in the time I have been honored to work with you. For poise in even the most trying of circumstances; for humor when most people would have long since lost it; for a constant drive for excellence; for doing your best work even when a client doesn’t appreciate it; for caring about defining a good process, following it, and refining it with improvements learned through experience. Thank you for caring not just about our business, but about each of us as well. I hope I am one tenth as good at recognizing good work and calling attention to it as you are. Thank you for all the times you have taken time out of your busy schedule to send a note of thanks or appreciation when you’re pleased with how a product turned out. It has always meant a lot. I wish you the best of luck in this new phase of your life. I will miss you! Lorel Brown

25: To Every Season... | No matter the season, when I look at these, I’ll think of you. Savor these next seasons in YOUR life. | Much love from Darren (and John too)

26: Positive Attitude | Barbara Kay confirmed and set an excellent example of, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it. And relationships are important and are the key to positive working and personal relationships.” Barbara, I wish all the best that life has to offer a kind, thoughtful, and hard-working woman like you. Thanks for teaching us that “win or lose, we are all in this together!” Keena M. McClendon

27: Greater Lessons | A lesson learned: Never loan a co-worker your meeting badge, especially Barbara Kay. During one American Heart Association Scientific Sessions, Barbara spotted that I was deep in work. She offered to get me lunch from AHA’s media lunch area. Because Barbara didn’t have a badge yet, I loaned her mine. I wrongly thought it would go unnoticed. Well, as Barbara exited the secure area, she got stopped by an AHA staff member, who read the badge hanging from Barbara’s neck. As Barbara reported it to me, the staff member firmly said, “I know Amy Bennett, and you are not Amy Bennett.” Barbara returned not only with a hot lunch for me, but also a story I will never forget. While I clearly got Barbara in a bit of trouble, she took it in great stride. I think that’s a greater lesson. Thanks, Amy Bennett

28: Your Light Shines | I would love to tell you my life story, if only I could remember :O) Wait, Barbara who? Just kidding! How can you be forgotten? You enter a room and light it up with your positive and upbeat energy. You always have nice words for everyone. You are always supportive and always smiling. You are definitely not a person who’ll be easily forgotten. I wish you much happiness and all the best in your relationship and your life as a whole. Congratulations! Con mucho cariño, Ivonne Garcia - Dory | Barbara, you are such an extraordinary lady. You have the gift of making people feel important and special. I have such fun memories of the years I worked for you, especially traveling to American Heart. Please keep in touch and let me know how you are doing! Love and best wishes, Jan Ryon

29: Leadership | Best wishes in your future plans and endeavors. I have enjoyed working with you. Your leadership will be missed. Jeannette Spalding | I’ve only known you a short while, but you made my first few weeks at Ascend a positive and pleasant experience. I enjoyed having lunch with you and talking to you about everything from pets to (GASP!!!) politics. I will miss you. Ann Lowenstein

30: Scotch Buddy I was the first person you met when you arrived for your first day at Ascend. I was there when you were stuck in the elevator. How many computers have you had? You will always be my scotch buddy. Best of luck with your new contract company and always know you will be missed. Jena Brooks | Touching Lives You will be missed by everyone on staff. Everyone here always looked forward to seeing you. You are one of the most kind and genuine people we have ever had the pleasure to meet. Thomas Harris Assistant General Manager Hyatt Place Kansas City/Overland Park/Convention Center

31: Thinking of you is like the Spring, You bring love and joy to everything. | Trooper Barbara is such a trooper that she never complains to me when the bad things happen so I do not have any great stories. I will miss her, as I have enjoyed working with her. She is such a sweetheart. Shelly Kreicbergs All About Travel | “I am still determined to be cheerful and happy, in whatever situation I may be; for I have also learned from experience that the greater part of our happiness or misery depends upon our dispositions, and not upon our circumstances.” Martha Washington

32: Dear Barbara: First, I am so happy for you to be able to begin a new exciting stage of your life! When I thought about writing something special for you, I immediately thought of the wonderful book of "thoughts/quotes" you gave me during one of our years working together. I cherish it, and your sincere, genuine nature! Kindred spirits we seem to be, even though we didn't ever seem to have enough time to visit. It was such a great ride, with teams that truly complemented one another beautifully. I will always reflect on the Ascend relationships and projects as highlights of my MMPI career, one I cherish as much as the dear friends I made along the way. So this one is for you, Barbara (Appropriate then, and appropriate now) "Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another: ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one’." C. S. Lewis Thanks for your friendship, and please let's not lose track of each other! Fondly, Jennifer Woolford, former Senior Vice President, MMPI | Kindred Spirits

33: Barbara, You have been instrumental in the height and flight of World Market Center Las Vegas! Your strategic role in helping to design a suite of custom print products complemented our vision from day one. You’ve been a leader we all admire in your poise, intellect and integrity. We will miss you but will always fondly remember our team’s sensational collaboration. To new heights! Dana, Sarah, Carolyn and the team at World Market Center Las Vegas | New Heights

34: We wish | you | in life! | the best

36: Thanks | for | you do! | all that

37: Barbara Kay-isms | Barbara by the Numbers | Drum roll.... Everyone loves bullet points Did you perform a needs assessment? Consultative sales approach According to our research Nimble Thought-leader Follow the Playbook I can feel my Irish coming out Can we move this into a 2012 job? I’m practicing my yoga breathing My hair is on fire They were so engaged! I have a small worries, just a change in plans...not to worry, I have been not fear, I am able to jump on the next flight tomorrow...nothing to fear, I have an extra suit in my carry-on bag ... be there shortly, I’m just going to try a different airport... To your good point We are the experts Sets us apart from the others Revenue generator PLN, PFS, LOA, PDF, AHA, ADA, ACC... Forward thinking Breathe Champagne toasts all around It’s our J-O-B! Bravo! Job well done | Years at Ascend: 9 and counting Number of flights to KC: 290 Number of changes to flights: 312 Number of times your luggage was lost: 51 Meetings and trade shows attended: 255 Number of flights to Dallas: 97 Number of miles walked within the Orlando Convention Center: 42 Number of presentations given in DC: 112 Number of US airports visited: 42 Number of Frequent Flyer points earned: 782,992 Number of times your office moved locations: 13 Number of hard drives and laptops: 9 Number of meals eaten at either BoLings (the early years ;) Dean and Deluca, or Bravo!: 278 Number of meals involving salmon, a Caesar salad and a glass of Kendall Jackson chardonnay (oaky!): 792 Number of cars rented: 310 Number of nights at the Holtze Hotel: 52 Number of nights at Cherise’s house: 67 Number of nights at the Doubletree: 182 Number of nights Hyatt Place: 285 Number of clients won: 145 Number of employees inspired: EVERYONE!

38: For this | is | goodbye | not

39: ...Until | we meet | dear friend! | again,

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  • Title: Floral Delight
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